While there are a number of different treatments that have been approved for treating mesothelioma, there is not yet a mesothelioma cure. Most mesothelioma treatments have unfortunately been unable to limit the spread of this deadly form of cancer, unfortunately. The treatments associated with mesothelioma can be divided into two different categories, one category for traditional mesothelioma treatments and one category for newer mesothelioma treatments. Traditional mesothelioma treatments are similar to the treatments that are being used for other types of cancer, and typically include radiation therapy or radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.
Traditional forms of mesothelioma treatments are typically used alongside one another in a complete effort to provide the most effective and most thorough care possible. For example, there is a type of therapy known as trimodality therapy which combines chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery all together. Chemotherapy would be administered first with the aim of slowing down the growth associated with malignant mesothelioma cancer.
The next step in trimodality therapy is surgery, which is designed to physically remove any tumor mass from mesothelioma. Extrapleural pneumonectomy is an example of a surgery that is performed as a part of trimodality therapy. In the final step, then, post-operative radiotherapy is used in order to target any mesothelioma cells that are still lingering in the body. Although this form of trimodality therapy has as yet been unable to completely eradicate the presence malignant mesothelioma, it still has been proven to be effective in prolonging the survival time of many patients by as long as five years, despite the fact that the average survival time post diagnosis is only approximately between one and two years.
There have been a number of new mesothelioma treatments that have been developed and researched with the hope of specifically succeeding in ways that traditional methods have been unable to. Mesothelioma researchers are currently being optimistic that the newer modalities for mesothelioma treatment will eventually prove themselves to be successful, although they have yet to yield the desired results.
Some examples of new treatments for mesothelioma include the development of new agents for chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy or PDT, intensity modulated radiation therapy or IMRT and finally gene therapy.
As with other diseases relating to cancer, the progression of mesothelioma can be broken into different stages. Accordingly, choosing the right mesothelioma cure or mesothelioma treatment has to do with the stage of the disease that you are currently in. The staging method that is most commonly used for mesothelioma cancer is known as the Brigham staging system. In this staging system, stage 1 occurs when the tumor is still completely within the pleura. Stage 2 occurs when the tumor has spread and when adenopathy is present. Stage 3 begins when the tumor extends into the chest wall or the heart. Finally stage 4 occurs at the point where the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Research continues each day and brings us closer to a mesothelioma cure.